Mare Berger and Molly Aronson: Voices of the people and peace must be heard

Palestinians search for survivors after an Israeli airstrike on a residential building of the Yaghi family in Deir al Balah, Gaza Strip, Friday, Feb. 23, 2024.

Palestinians search for survivors after an Israeli airstrike on a residential building of the Yaghi family in Deir al Balah, Gaza Strip, Friday, Feb. 23, 2024. AP PHOTO/ADEL HANA

Published: 02-28-2024 5:36 PM

As Jews, we urge the Gazette to stop quoting individuals and organizations who are falsely equating antisemitism with calling for a cease-fire in Gaza. In the face of unspeakable violence by the Israeli state, it is not antisemitic to protest the Israeli government, it is not antisemitic to fight for a permanent cease-fire, and it is not antisemitic to advocate for town cease-fire resolutions. To quote it as such, shown in your recent article [“Cease-fire debate heats up,” Feb. 24] distorts the actual definition of antisemitism, which is a real and necessary concern.

We reject the false narrative that the bombardment and annihilation of Gaza is in the name of Jewish safety, and we know that a permanent cease-fire and peace negotiations will in fact make everyone safer in Israel and Palestine, and help bring peace into our own communities. Bombing does not bring safety. Bombing does not bring peace. There is no justification for killing 30,000 civilians, including 12,000 children. That is a war crime, and that is why we are organizing for cease-fire resolutions in our local towns and urging all of our elected council people to pass these resolutions immediately.

We urge the Gazette to see the clear humanity in this issue. Right now in Gaza, millions of people are starving to death because Israel is not allowing enough food into the enclave. Several babies have already starved to death this week. Thirty thousand people have been killed by the Israeli military. Governments around the world are imploring Israel to stop its military operation in Gaza. Eighty percent of Americans want a cease-fire. Yet, the Gazette gave half of its recent article about cease-fire resolutions to an organization that justifies the continued murder of Palestinians.

Please know that what you report matters and we need you to represent the voice of the people, and the voice for peace during this human-made, preventable, humanitarian emergency.

Cease-fire now. Allow aid into a starving region. Release all hostages and political prisoners.

Mare Berger and Molly Aronson

Jewish Voice for Peace Western Mass

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